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Norman Barkel

Obituary for Norman Barkel

July 20, 1930 - December 5, 2018
Zeeland, Michigan | Age 88


Norman Gene Barkel died peacefully at his home on December 5, 2018 in Zeeland, MI at the age of 88.

Norm was born on July 20, 1930 in Overisel, MI to Silas and Sadie Barkel. He married Thelma Voorhorst in 1954, and they made their home in Zeeland. They were blessed with four boys: David, Timothy, Daniel, and Matthew. One of their favorite family activities was camping on the weekends. After his first wife, Thelma, passed away, he married Myra Isenga. They spent many happy years together.

Norm was a lifelong long-haul truck driver. He loved his job, and in fact stated that he "never worked a day in my life." He drove many, many miles safely for various companies. Norm had a great sense of humor and a great attitude towards his work. Norm was a committed Christian and a member of Faith Reformed Church in Zeeland, where he once served as an elder and Sunday School teacher. His prayers at the table and those said privately for his kids and grandkids were indicative of his deep faith and were cherished by his family. Norm was also a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1951 – 1953.

A funeral with military honors is scheduled for 1:00 pm Saturday, December 8th at Faith Reformed Church, 220 W. Central Ave. Zeeland, MI 49464 with Rev. Jonathon Elgersma officiating. Visitation with the family is 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm on Friday, December 7th also at Faith Reformed. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Faith Reformed Church Mission Fund or Spectrum Hospice.

Norm is survived by his wife, Myra; children, Dave (Linda) Barkel, Tim (Lori) Barkel, Dan (Ann) Barkel, Matt (Donna) Barkel, Steve (Brenda) Isenga, Tom (Anita) Isenga; siblings, Vern (Joyce) Barkel, Alden (Hester) Barkel; in-laws, Allen (Joann) Voorhorst, Roger (Dawn) VandeBunte, Harlan (Becky) VandeBunte, and Bob (Ruth) VandeBunte.

Norm was greatly loved by his 16 grandchildren; Jessica (Jeremy) Brunink, Sarah (Ryan) Bekius, Jordan (Lindsey) Barkel, Travis (Laurelin) Barkel, Justin (Kelsey) Barkel, Phillip Barkel, Rachel (Andrew) Dyrdal, Joel (Christina) Barkel, Luke Barkel, Claire Barkel, Ted Barkel, Joshua (Kaylin) Isenga, Dirk (Claire) Isenga, Christina Isenga, Tim Isenga, Anna Isenga; and 19 great-grandchildren.

Norm is preceded in death by his first wife, Thelma; brother, Elmer Barkel; sister, Elgene Vanden Brink; and Myra's grandson, Andrew Isenga.

Burial to take place in Overisel Cemetery.

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Spectrum Health Hospice
    750 Fuller Ave. NE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Arrangements By

Yntema Funeral Home

251 S State St
Zeeland, MI 49464
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